When I first heard that Lady Gaga was passing through my own Asunción, Paraguay I really wanted to see her. Like jumping up and down squealing to Isaiah, “Should we go? Should we go?”
But it didn’t quite seem like a Peace Corps Volunteer thing to do. Wasn’t I supposed to be roughing it or something? Getting by on as little as possible? Facing my fear of bugs and dust and anything not quite comfortable?
But then I sat back and thought about this little lesson life has been trying to teach me: things aren’t black and white. Not everything can fit inside a neat and tidy box for me to label and stack on a shelf. My Peace Corps experience will have enough challenges to go around even though we’re living in a relatively nice and comfy home. Like being greeted by a gigantic spider in the kitchen sink this morning.
Or that even though learning Spanish really well was one of my biggest goals before arriving in Paraguay this experience is being enhanced by the fellow volunteers I’m meeting and making friends with. And when sometimes that means speaking English for days at a time only to return to my site and stumble like crazy over my Spanish in the English class we’re teaching, so be it.
Rigid rules are restricting. So although I never imagined an outdoor Lady Gaga concert was in the cards for me here in Paraguay we decided to embrace all the shades of grey that life brings us and go for it! (The two for one deal on tickets didn’t hurt either!)
It was amazing. Live, colorful, loud, energetic, freeing, and oh so fun. It turns out it’s unnecessary to put an experience in a box–what it should and should not include. If so I’d miss out on a lot of unexpected opportunities along the way. So I hope to accept all those shades of grey and relish the good things of life. Because baby, I was born this way.